One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is telling your children. Even amicable divorces have a negative impact on children, and it is important for you to take the right approach to mitigate the fallout as much as possible.
Psychology Today recommends addressing the issue as soon as possible, so your kids learn of your divorce from you and not somewhere else. They also offer the following tips, so you can have a constructive, loving conversation about a difficult topic.
Break the news as a family unit
Emotions run hot in the lead up to a divorce, and you and your spouse may have difficulty even being in the same room together. However, if it is possible to overcome these feelings, you should make every attempt to inform your children together. Doing so shows that both parents will always be there, regardless of their marital status. It also allows children to ask questions of the both of you.
Do not blame each other for what happened
Even if one parent acted in a way that harmed the marriage, do not place blame on them. Instead, highlight to the children that this decision is best for both of you, and the family as a whole. Emphasize that you both came to this decision together, and that you both still love your children, even though you and your spouse will be living apart.
Reassure your children
Regardless of the situation, your kids are bound to experience dismay about what is happening. Make sure they understand that everything will be OK. Also, let them know that it is natural to feel hurt and angry about the situation, and welcome them to express these feelings to you. Make sure that your children understand that the divorce is not their fault and that it human nature for them to search for blame. While it will be difficult, taking the right approach ensures your children are able to work through complex feelings reasonably.